If you’re familiar with any of the homemade cleaning and laundry solutions I’ve shared here on my site, you may have noticed many of them feature Dawn dish soap as an ingredient. Over the years, I’ve used it the classic blue Dawn dish soap to remove yellow sweat stains, make no-grate laundry detergent, and much more — it’s even in my trusty Ultimate Stain Remover Spray!
As a dish soap, Dawn is certainly great for washing dishes, from pots and pans to flatware and crystal, but it’s all the other things you can do with it that make it truly extraordinary! Without further ado, here’s my list of the “best of the best” uses for Dawn dishwashing liquid.
28 Amazing Uses For Dawn Dish Soap
1. Making Bubbles
According to Bubbles.org, Dawn dish soap makes great homemade bubbles, including “giant bubbles!” To make a bubble solution, combine 1/2 cup of Ultra Dawn soap, 1/2 gallon of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of glycerin. (White Karo syrup works in place of glycerin, if you have that on hand!)
Stir gently, then skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam will break down the bubbles). Dip your bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!
2. Saving Wildlife
Ever wonder why Dawn soap is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.
3. Removing Gunk From Hair
Kids get the darnedest things in their hair, like Vaseline, baby oil, gum, Silly Putty, etc. Dawn dish soap is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.
4. Removing Hair Product Buildup
Once a month use Dawn dish soap as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.
5. Cleaning Windows
Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn dish soap in 1 gallon of water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spray and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.
6. Deicing Sidewalks
For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks!
7. Softening Cuticles For Manicures
Soak your fingers in a dish of Dawn dish soap. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere better.
8. Cleaning Plastic Kiddie Pools
Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn dish soap and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.
9. Making Multi-Purpose Cleaners
Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn soap in 8 ounces water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:
- Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks
- Woodwork, like baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting (Make sure to dry as you go; wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
- Tubs and toilet seats
10. Repelling Pests From Plants
This is a safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.
11. Relieving Poison Ivy
Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn soap helps dry up the fluid AND keep it from spreading. This is especially effective for children who keep scratching the blisters open.
12. Erasing Driveway Stains
If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, first sprinkle kitty litter on the spot to absorb excess oil. Then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dish soap and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.
13. Killing Fleas
Use Dawn dish soap to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.
14. Cleaning Pool Water
Squirt Dawn soap down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up! AND it makes the pools sparkle.
15. Preventing Foggy Lenses
Simply rub a small drop of Dawn soap on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.
16. Removing Grease From Tools
After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn soap before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. This also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.
17. Pre-Treating Oily Laundry Stains
To remove oil-based laundry stains like lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dish soap directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.
18. Lubricating Moving Parts
Apply Dawn dish soap to sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried, and it’s non-toxic. It does a great job of cleaning the parts that it’s lubricating as well!
19. Making A Gel Ice Pack
Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dish soap, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.
20. Washing Paint & Grease Off Hands
Dawn soap combined with corn oil makes for the perfect grease or paint remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.
21. Keeping Aphids Away From Fruit Trees
Mix two tablespoons Dawn soap to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get the spray on both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!
22. Cleaning Your Tub & Shower
Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with Dawn dish soap. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls, then allow it to sit for a while before rinsing it off. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.
23. Repelling Ants
Spray countertops, cupboards, and any other areas where you’ve seen ants with a solution of Dawn soap and water. Wipe dry. The slight soapy residue that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn soap spray. And if that doesn’t work here are some more ways to get rid of ants.
24. Stripping Cloth Diapers
Here is another laundry tip — add a drop or two of original Dawn dish soap to diapers in your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. (Be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll end up with a terribly sudsy mess on your hands.)
Dawn is excellent at cutting through grease, oily residues, and the link, making it ideal for stripping cloth diapers. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly until the water runs clear!
25. Unclogging Toilets
Clear out a clogged toilet by pouring a cup or so of Dawn dish soap into the toilet bowl, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Follow with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height, and your toilet should be clog-free!
26. Cleansing Oily Skin
Dawn dish soap makes a surprisingly great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.
27. Cleaning Grimy Shower Floors
Cover grimy footprints and other gunk on shower floors with Dawn soap; let sit overnight. Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.
28. Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
Start by wiping the appliance with a damp cloth so you can see the direction of the fine lines or “grain” in the steel. Put a few drops of Dawn on a wet rag, then lather it up and wipe the surface in the same direction as the grain. Wipe again with a clean, damp cloth, then use a dry microfiber cloth to buff it to a shine. No more grease or fingerprints!
Bonus: Giving It As A Gift!
If you should ever need a host or hostess gift when visiting friends or family, print out this list and bundle it with a bottle of Dawn dish soap and a few microfiber cloths! I can’t think of a more practical gift than that!